la joie de vivre

From California to Lyon, France: living & studying abroad…and coming back!

Day 4 & 5

Yesterday:

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Tomorrow marks the start of classes (eek!), so today is the last calm before the storm!

I presented at the Hall Council Info Session at my old residence hall, San Nicolas. It’s hard to believe I lived there a whole three years ago.

But the meeting was really boring, because it turns out that almost all the people from FSSP stayed in the building. So all the people who were in Hall Council for the summer were the people there for the session. I think only one other person was there. It’s sad that the decision to not move so many people discouraged so many people to be involved, especially since the same meeting during the summer had a packed room.

On a happier note, I got into computer science! So I’ll be going tomorrow to get my add code. I sure hope it’s not too hectic there. With honors, it’s been sure nice to get into the classes I’ve needed with priority registration. I was super worried I was going to get stuck crashing this quarter (which is not good considering we have the biggest incoming class ever at UCSB this year), but it looks like I escaped that one again!

And I have physics tomorrow. I’m really trying to go outside my comfort zone. My first and second year I did so by going outside of my involvement and social comfort zones; my third year I did so by going out of my country; this year, I’m going to try to do so through academics.

Time to explore again!

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Today:

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Well, it was the first day of classes of senior year, and it was an exhausting one.

I went to lecture for the Psychology of Close Relationships; it was originally going to be taught by Dr. Collins, who I’ve had before and really liked. But it showed “T.B.A.” online, which is never a good sign. It turns out it was a psychological researcher giving her first class (and, thus, first lecture!). She seems like a nice lady, but her lecture style doesn’t excite me, and neither do the discussions that were scattered throughout class. It’s a lecture hall, and not a section — discussion, participation, and personal anecdotes by students are simply frustrating in that kind of atmosphere.

So I dropped that.

And I sure did!

I then went to Educational Psychology, which I really liked. Good thing, too, because the teacher will be my mentor for the senior honors thesis! I have to meet up with him tomorrow to discuss it.

Then was Physics. I think my subconscious was absolutely dreading this class given all the weird nightmares and dreams I had about it. But I might not even be able to take it! Apparently, the Physics Department has a new policy (implemented right at the start of this quarter — we were told about it at like 10 AM today) that labs and lectures for physics MUST be taken together. No lab, no lecture; no lecture, no lab. Since I’m a psychology major, I just enrolled in the lecture because I figured I didn’t want to spend time just getting 1 unit for a lab that didn’t count.

New policy? Yeah, not so cool.

….But now I might not be able to take the class. I can talk with the physics advisors and tell them that I just wanted to take the class for fun, but I honestly am not very hopeful with that approach working.

Last on the menu of the day was Introduction to Computer Science. It was actually pretty cool, but the class is full of mostly freshmen boys. And they all think they know the answer to everything. I mean, I have read previous articles saying that the status quo is something that keeps girls and women away from computer science, engineering, math, and the like. I never really experienced it before until I went into this class. I don’t know if my feelings will change, but I’m definitely getting the picture that I’m not supposed to be there (I’m female AND a senior). But I like it, so hopefully I can stick with that gut feeling instead.

Plus I was one of the lucky ones to get an add code. I don’t know if it was because of my class standing (senior), GPA, or my reasoning (beneficial for graduate school), but I got it, and I joined the wait list for the class 3 months after it opened up.

Every year, there seem to be less open classes and more people crashing. I can only say that I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to have priority with the honors program. Quite honestly, if anyone is deciding between colleges in the near future, it’s a big, big factor to consider: will you get the classes you actually want to take? Or just spend a lot of money for a specific name with less than ideal classes (or undergraduate completion times?)

I sure hope that the educational system becomes more efficient, less clogged, and more geared towards the “real world” really, really fast. Even if it doesn’t directly benefit me, that’s okay. The system is broken and needs to be fixed.

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2012 by in General.
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